Expats of the Wild East

What is Expats of the Wild East?

This is a series of essays by foreigners about foreigners in South Korea. Most of them are about the people who came to Korea in the 1980s and 1990s, when the land really was considered, the “Wild East.” This was before the Korean Wave and before Korean Immigration had tightened its controls. In those days, Korea attracted larger than life eccentric characters, economic mercenaries, and social rejects.

The original essays come from the self-published book Outlanders by J. Scott Burgeson, published in 2008.

Here is an example

Here are a few more examples from The Dark Side of Seoul Podcast

Do you have an essay to contribute?

The original series is for our Patreon subscribers. Yet we are hunting for more stories. The new stories will be released to the public after giving our Patreon subscribers a first listen. If we receive enough contributions we will collect them and publish a book. Contributors will receive a one-time contributor fee if this comes about. Other than that, contributors will be given credit wherever their essay is published, online or in print.

The theme is to highlight the foibles of living in a drastically different culture but to also be respectful of Korea and Koreans.

If you have a funny tale of an expat in Korea, even if it is yourself and a funny fish-out-of-water situation, please pitch your idea here. Just 50-100 words or so. Do not give us a full essay unless we contact you.